Well, my ability to blog, and my stern resolution to do so, in a timely manner crashed and burned as we approached the end of summer reading. May I plead sheer exhaustion of my mental capacity? After a wonderfully busy June and July, my brain shut down for the entire month of August. Our summer reading programs were a success with over 1,000 children, teens, and adults participating this year. It boggles my mind because just five short years ago we only had 120 participants. My, we have really grown in such a short time!
However, I am already looking forward to Summer Reading 2011 because we are going to have a "magic" theme in honor of the release of the last of the Harry Potter movies (sigh, first the books and now this...). I am already ruminating on what the "title" will be and so far "Magical Adventures" is the front runner. You know how I love Harry Potter! Now, if I can only con, I mean talk and convince, Barbara that turning the Galleria into Hogsmeade and the Library into Hogwarts is a wildly fantastic and amazing idea...
Back to 2010. We have just placed our last book orders for this fiscal year and the first items arrived yesterday. NEW BOOKS! I love getting NEW BOOKS! The best perks of my job are selecting new titles for purchase and getting to see and touch the books as they first arrive when I am processing them. I get giddy and excited when I see the UPS driver bringing them in.
We have many of the current, or soon to be, bestsellers from the old reliables such as Kathy Reichs, James Patterson, Sandra Brown, Lauren Weisberger, Clive Cussler, Philippa Gregory, etc. as well as the much buzzed-about new book by Jonathan Franzen. As a side note about the Franzen book, Freedom, I agree with Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Crusie's analysis and thoughts on the buzz concerning this author. Check out their interview here and Crusie's blog beginning with the August 25 post; I howled with laughter over "franzenfreude" - my new favorite word for the phenomena they describe! My favorites are some of the books that may not become bestsellers but sound fantastic and strongly appeal to me for a variety of reasons. I want to read all of them right away. I am thrilled that there is a long weekend coming up, maybe I can read at least 3 of them. That would be lovely!
Here are some of the titles on my "I-wish/want-to-read-these-right-now-list" and just a few words about why they appeal to me:
Our Tragic Universe, by Scarlett Thomas - tongue-in-cheek and whimsical
The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise, by Julia Stuart - clever and unusual premise
Juliet, by Anne Fortier - history, mystery, intrigue, and Shakespeare
- Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal - Regency England and Magic
Dragongirl, by Todd McCaffrey-Pern, I've loved this world since I was a teen
My Hollywood, by Mona Simpson-social commentary disguised as chick lit
The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, by Mary Helen Stefaniak-first few pages hooked me
Maybe This Time, by Jennifer Crusie (yes, same as above) - it will be funny, smart, and have witty dialogue - LOVE her books
Entanglement, by Zygmunt Miloszewski - I want to see if I can start a Polish Noir craze to replace the Scandinavian Noir trend fueled, but not originated with, by Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. My grandmother was also Polish.
Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray - very English and nominated for the Booker Prize
Deeply, Desperately, by Heather Webber, I Love This Bar, by Carolyn Brown, She's Gone Country, by Jane Porter and Perfect Blend, by Sue Margolis - mind candy fun and I loved the first book Webber's series
Murder in Vein, by Sue Ann Jaffarian, Wicked Witch Murder, by Leslie Meier, and Murder on the Bride's Side, by Tracy Kiely -mystery spiced with chick lit, which is how I like my mysteries, and I adore Jaffarian's Odelia Grey books and the Kiely title, while set in the present, draws on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility
Nashville Chrome, by Rick Bass - quirky premise and based on real people, one of my mom's favorite singers? (I think, have to check this out)
The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson - High fantasy epic, been hearing about this book for eons
What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper, by Paula Marantz Cohen - I'm intrigued by the subtitle
Stiltsville, by Suanna Daniel - I suspect that this book whose subject matter seems quiet and uneventful will have powerful prose
Composed, by Roseanne Cash - I love her intelligent songwriting abilities and I believe they will translate nicely to her skill as a memoirist.
Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare- the first book in her new series, The Infernal Devices. I loved her Mortal Instruments series and she always has my heart for her short story "The Girl's Guide to Defeating the Dark Lord"and her humorous send up of one of my favorite books of all time, The Lord of the Rings, The Very Secret Diaries of Lord of the Rings (warning: absolutely hilarious but a bit racy for some tastes).
So which book do I start with? I am conflicted, they are all calling to me, "read me first!" and I want to succumb to the siren call of every single one of them. I wish I could clone myself to do just that and I would make an extra clone to do errands, laundry, etc. too! Since it is a holiday weekend I am going to begin with all the fantasy and science fiction books, genres I have always loved but do not read as much as I used to and I'll start with a return trip to visit Pern and its dragons. Then Jennifer Crusie's newest and then I'll go on to a chick lit or two.
Come in and check out all the new books and see what appeals to you. Try a new genre, author, or the latest from an old favorite. If you need any suggestions or are wondering "what do I read next" because you have finished all the books by a favorite author come by and see me. Helping people find their next great read is one other part of my job that I love. Not only the joy and fun of introducing people to new books but getting suggestions from our well-read patrons.
Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend and Happy Reading!